Have you ever heard of Libyan glass? This is an unusual material of yellow-green color, which can be found in an area of about 2500-6000 km in western Egypt, near the border with Libya. It was formed about 29 million years ago, when a comet hit the Earth. The impact melted part of the rock and turned it into glass. But how exactly did this happen?
Scientists decided to study Libyan glass, using microscopy, spectroscopy and chemical analysis. They found interesting things in it that tell us what happened during the impact of the meteorite. For example:
1. They found small transparent spheres that consist of a mineral called cristobalite. This mineral forms at very high temperatures - at least 1550 degrees Celsius! This means that the comet heated the rock to such a degree that it became liquid and then solidified.
2. They also found brown inclusions that have the shape of drops and grains. They consist of another mineral - orthopyroxene. This mineral is usually found in solid rocks, such as sand or granite. But in Libyan glass it partially melted and mixed with glass. This means that the comet hit a place where there were such rocks and partially melted them.
3. Finally, they found dark stripes in Libyan glass that contain many different elements, such as aluminum, iron, chromium and nickel. They are not similar to what comes from space, but rather to what is on Earth. This means that the dark stripes are traces of earth rock that mixed with glass during the impact.
All this tells us that Libyan glass is the result of a very strong and fast event. The comet hit the Earth so hard that it melted part of its surface and created glass. Most likely, it even pierced the earth's crust and reached deep layers. It was not just an explosion in the air, but a real impact.
Natural glasses: gifts from cosmic visitors
You know that on Earth there are not only artificial glasses that people make, but also natural glasses that formed as a result of different processes? For example, volcanic glass forms when molten lava cools down. But there are even more interesting types of natural glasses that are related to space. They formed when meteorites hit the Earth and are called tektites.
Tektites are pieces of glass of different shapes, colors and sizes. They are widespread all over the world and are divided into several groups by geographical feature. For example, Atacama glass can be found in the Atacama desert in Chile, Edeowie glass - in South Australia, and Darwin glass - on the island of Tasmania.
Scientists studied these tektites and other methods and tried to find out how they formed and what they consist of. They again used different methods of analysis, such as microscopy, spectroscopy and chemical analysis.
1. Atacama glass has a white or gray color and consists of SiO2 with impurities of Al2O3, FeO and CaO. It contains many microscopic bubbles of air and crystals of quartz and feldspar. It also has a characteristic texture with radial cracks. This indicates that Atacama glass formed during the explosion of a meteorite in the atmosphere over the desert 12 million years ago. The molten material flew in different directions and solidified in the form of drops or fragments. A strip of fragments 75 km long was formed.
However, this theory is probably wrong. Recently another group of scientists discovered that in samples of desert glass there are small pieces with minerals that are found in rocks of extraterrestrial origin. Interestingly, these minerals have the same composition as the material that was brought to Earth by NASA's Stardust mission. As part of the mission, particles of a comet named Wild 2 were collected. The team of scientists concluded that these mineral pieces are most likely particles of a cosmic body - probably a comet similar to Wild 2. Scientists suggested that after the explosion in the desert fell and sank into molten sand parts of the comet.
2. Edeowie glass has a green or brown color and consists of SiO2 with impurities of Al2O3, FeO, MgO and CaO. It contains less air bubbles and more crystals of quartz and feldspar. It also has a characteristic texture with concentric layers. This indicates that Edeowie glass formed during the impact of a meteorite on the earth's surface. The molten material flew up and solidified in the form of spheres or disks on an area of 55 km.
3. Darwin glass has a green or black color and consists of SiO2 with impurities of Al2O3, FeO, MgO and CaO. It contains very few air bubbles and crystals of quartz and feldspar. It also has a characteristic texture with petal-like shapes. This indicates that Darwin glass formed during the impact of a meteorite on the earth's surface 800 thousand years ago. The molten material flew up and solidified in the form of petals or leaves, located on an area of about 410 km² around the crater.
Not used by jewelers because it has an opaque dirty appearance.
All this tells us that natural glasses are traces from cosmic visitors who visited Earth millions of years ago. They tell us what conditions were during the fall of meteorites and what was the composition of the target rock.
Libyan Glass: A Cosmic Gem for Your Jewelry Collection
If you are looking for a unique and beautiful gemstone to add to your jewelry collection, you might want to consider Libyan glass. This is a natural glass that was formed by a comet impact on Earth millions of years ago. It has a stunning yellow-green color and a smooth texture that reflects light in a captivating way.
Libyan glass is also known as Libyan desert glass or Great Sand Sea glass. It is found in a remote area of western Egypt, near the border with Libya. It is very rare and valuable, as only about 10 tons of it have been discovered so far. It is believed that it was created when a comet hit the Earth about 29 million years ago, melting part of the sand and rock and turning it into glass.
Libyan glass has a fascinating history and symbolism. It was used by ancient Egyptians as a sacred material for making jewelry and sculptures. One of the most famous examples is the pectoral of King Tutankhamun, which has a Libyan glass scarab in the center. The scarab was a symbol of rebirth and regeneration, and the Libyan glass was associated with the sun god Ra. The ancient Egyptians believed that Libyan glass was a gift from the sky and had magical properties.
Libyan glass is also a powerful gemstone for healing and spiritual purposes. It is said to enhance creativity, intuition and manifestation. It can help you connect with your higher self and your cosmic origins. It can also protect you from negative energies and bring you luck and abundance.
Libyan glass is a perfect choice for making jewelry, as it can be cut into various shapes and sizes. It can be set in gold, silver or other metals, or combined with other gemstones for a stunning effect. It can be worn as a pendant, a ring, a bracelet or earrings. It can suit any style and occasion, from casual to elegant.
Libyan glass is a cosmic gem that will make you shine with its beauty and energy. It is a rare and precious treasure that will enrich your jewelry collection and your life.
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